Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Snip Snip here, and a Snip Snip there

Good Evening sweet family and friends - I had a restful Saturday.  For the first time in a long time I laid around, watched a couple of movies, and drank ice tea on crushed ice (sweetened with saccharine like my mother and daddy have made for us all of our lives).

I napped a bit, gave myself a manicure, ate a little bit here and there and just rested. Frank needed to go to work for awhile and called when he was about to leave work to ask what I had done today and to see what was going on.

When I told him, he said, "well, do you think you could get around and paint that barn and put on some clothes before I get home?" To which I replied, "No, and you are gonna have to fix your own supper, too."  Of course, he laughed, and when he got home, he fixed his own dadburn supper.

Ladies and Gentlemen, some days just have to be like that.  I thank the Lord for every moment today.  It was great.  The added value is that I don't have to remove my makeup tonight.  I'm still "ready for bed." Yeehaw!!

My last blog was about the wonderful hope I have in the Lord Jesus, and how I don't ever have to be disappointed if my hope and expectations are placed in Him.

He continues to teach me profound lessons about the simplest principles from His Word that I have known all of my life.  The precious thing about belonging to the Lord Jesus is that as His child, I am consistently learning as He provides guidance, wisdom, and clarity when I have a teachable spirit and long to know more.

There has been a great deal of change for me at work.  I am not a fan of change.  Frank and I often joke that if I had had my way, we would still be living in the house on Sinclair in Midland, Texas.

I am a nester and a homebody, and the Lord usually has to pry my hands away a finger at a time from the thing that holds me back when He wants to unsettle and grow me.  Amazingly, He is always patient and never hurts a single finger in the process.  I might be reeling because I wouldn't just let go, but He is always there to steady my walk and point me in the right direction.

He is currently affecting change in my life by pruning me.  I feel the "snipping."  I also feel the loving tenderness of my Gardener.  He is doing it for my good and His glory. While there is discomfort, there is no pain or fear.

"I am the true vine (The Lord Jesus), and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit.  While every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be more fruitful." (John 15: 1-2).  What a blessed thought.  One of the ways He confirms that I "am in Him, and He is in me," is that He prunes me.

I googled the reason plants need to be pruned.  I was amazed at what I read and how it paralleled spiritual pruning.  First, pruning must take place for Safety - not for the plant's safety, but for the safety of things around the plant - covered signs, overhanging branches that could cause harm to people, or intrude on another plant's ability to flourish.  Spiritually, I need pruning so I will not be a spiritual hindrance or do spiritual harm to others.

Health - to prevent the spread of disease, improve circulation, and provide more exposure to sunlight. What a beautiful picture of what we need as Christians for spiritual health - freedom from the disease of sin so that the Holy Spirit has free flow, and we can be a light in a dark world because we walk in light.

Production - to encourage more fruit bearing.  Without pruning, most of a plant's energy goes into growth instead of yielding fruit or flowers.  What good is height and depth, if there is no joy, peace, forbearance, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and self-control? (Gal. 5:22-23)

Keep trees to a pickable size - I loved this.  Pruning keeps a tree from being so tall that it is really hard to reach the fruit or so short that it is physically hard to pick - having to bend over, etc.

I thought about thinking so little of my position in Christ that my light was dim, and my fruit was too much trouble to pick or not sweet enough to use or eat; or being so "heavenly minded I was no earthly good."  Either one keeps me from exhibiting the fruits of the spirit the way the Lord wants me to.

There are many more, but the one that really caught my attention was: Pruning avoids weak tree whips and dual leaders.  

I am going to actually quote the google source.  "Most fruit trees come with "whips," which are tall and slender. Proper pruning avoids weak whips that split in a storm, and instead limits the tree to a single leader strengthened by a strong root system."

Now, just think about that, pruning ensures that there is only one Leader (The Lord Jesus), that the source of the strength of the tree or plant is provided in the strong root system (rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith - Col. 2:7), so that as I grow, I am not a weak whip that splits in the storms of life, but I am a fruit bearer because I am a branch that remains or abides as an outgrowth of the Leader drawing from His strength.  "If I remain in Him, and He in me, I will bear much fruit; but without the one true Leader, the Vine, I can do nothing." John 15:5

Listen, sweet family and friends, I would welcome more than just a snip snip here and a snip snip there if it would continue to give me the joy, peace, gentleness and forbearance I have experienced in the last week of "pruning."

Now I will have to admit that the self-control fruit or flower in some areas of my life is really struggling to blossom.  Maybe that means that when it finally does, its beauty will be beyond compare as it is with the butterfly.

Lord Jesus, thanks for the strong connection to my Heavenly Daddy, my Gardener.  Thanks for showing your love for me and ownership of my life through pruning.  Thanks for the gentleness of the snip.  Thanks for the beauty this pruning will produce.

Most of all, Lord Jesus, let the fruit produced within me as I grow in You - glorify You and point others to You, so that at the end of this season of pruning, I will have greater treasure to lay at your feet.

Pruning - a marvelous reason I can continue to approach each day with the joy of the Lord.  Love to you all.  Mecca